Darlington County School District to begin school year with all virtual instruction

Darlington County School District to begin school year with all virtual instruction

DARLINGTON COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) - Students in the Darlington County School District won’t be in the classroom for the start of the school year.

The school district unanimously voted to start the school year on Sept. 8 with all virtual instruction for at least the first two weeks.

“The numbers in Darlington County are not coming down as quickly as the rest of the state is, so given the fact that those numbers are still high it would be my recommendation that we start off the school year in an all e-learning format,” said Superintendent Dr. Tim Newman.

School leaders used the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control’s COVID-19 disease activity report released on Monday to help them decide.

The report showed that Darlington County’s coronavirus disease activity is still listed as “high.”

Every two weeks the school board will look at the COVID-19 Disease Activity Report to determine if it is safe for students and faculty to return to the classroom for face-to-face learning, but for that to happen DHEC’s report would have to show a lower spread.

“We have to make sure that our decisions are based off safety,” said Newman.

If the disease activity report for Sept. 8 shows Darlington County’s case rate as “medium” the school board will consider a hybrid model of in-class and virtual learning.

“We need to get this under control so we can get back to a normal school year,” said school board member Warren Jeffords.

But before students can return to the classroom, the school board pleaded with the community to take this virus seriously and get the case rate to a lower level.

“Let’s all do our part and let’s do what we can to knock down the spread of the disease,” said Newman.

Copyright 2020 WMBF. All rights reserved.